Forum Post: HOPE vs. DESPAIR: Why Chris Hedges is right and the way we sometimes interpret him is wrong
Posted 11 months ago on Dec. 28, 2012, 8:07 a.m. EST by therising
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Pulitzer Prize winning author Chris Hedges does a tremendous job waking us up to the sheer size, weight, danger and momentum of the corporate hijacking of our government, economy, environment and our mindset. It's scary as hell. And accurate. We should be terrified into action rather than terrified into despair though, because there is real hope. We can and will win this.
My view is that the prescription for the ailment Hedges lays out so well is:
A - POWERFUL PAIRING OF NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION AND INTERNET - http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-dont-see-the-power-we-have-in-our-hands-to-tran/
B - REALIZING AND USING OUR ABILITY TO IMPACT THE MOMENTUM AND SPIRIT OF THE TIMES: http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-have-the-power-to-turn-this-world-around-this-o/
C - REJECTING THE AUSTERITY PUSH BY TAKING ACTION: http://occupywallst.org/forum/a-message-to-all-the-well-meaning-democrats-and-re/
AND even more importantly. . .
D - * CHANGING OUR FUNDAMENTAL MINDSET (Both the 99% and the 1% need to make a major internal shift in how we view the world).:
I see real hope because of the power of A, B, C and D to wake people up and transform their mindsets -- the mindsets of the 1% and the 99% -- both of which contribute to the terrifying problems Hedges describes.
What I'm suggesting in A, B and C is that we should not despair. We have the power in our hands to win this.
What I'm suggesting in D is even more important to me --- And that is that we the 99% can't just blame the 1% for the whole thing. We have to realize our part in creating / carrying the interior conditions / mindset that allow for such environmental, economic and political destruction. Once we realize we are part of the problem, we can be part of the solution.
For what it's worth, I have been through the despair part of this and came out the other side. That doesn't mean I don't get sad, pissed , furious about what the 1% are doing and what we the 99% are letting them get away with through our inaction. I'm pissed as hell and just as worried as the rest of us, if not more. But I know we can do this. Study of King, Gandhi and others has convinced me that we have the power to change things in terms of action on the outside. Study of Mingyur Rinpoche ("Joyful Wisdom" a book about our supposed age of anxiety), Thich Nhat Hanh ("The Heart of Understanding") and many others have convinced me that we have the power to change our inner mindset on a fundamental level. Once that fundamental shift occurs (which I believe is underway now on a societal level), the conditions for exploitation won't be in place. Greed, exploitation, oppression and mindless ravaging of the economy, environment and government just can't grow there. We can make ourselves and this world a terrible habitat for those things so they will be far less likely to grow here.
We can do this.
We must remember that what the 1% fear most is us coming out of despair and division. If we shed our nihilism and unify, we will be unstoppable. Nothing could hold us back. Once we realize that we have more in common than we have separating us, we the 99% can begin making decisions from a position of unified strength rather than demands from a position of divided weakness.